Predictions for upcoming season 4 of AMC's 'Better Call Saul'

With AMC's 'Better Call Saul' set to return next month, here are some of our predictions for the upcoming season 4.

                            Predictions for upcoming season 4 of AMC's 'Better Call Saul'
Bob Odenkirk (Source: Getty Images)

The final episode of season 3 of AMC's 'Breaking Bad' spin-off 'Better Call Saul' (BCS) aired last June. The season had opened with Jimmy Mcgill (Bob Odenkirk) learning that his brother, Chuck (Michael McKean), taped the conversation where he confesses to sabotaging the documents for a case HHM had been handling for Mesa Verde and plans to use it to disbar Jimmy from practicing law. What followed was a riveting trial with the New Mexico bar, Kim (Rhea Seehorn) getting herself in a freak accident caused by sleep deprivation, and Chuck purposely tearing out the wiring at his home, knocking over a lantern, and starting a fire.

While it left the audience on a cliffhanger and unsure whether Chuck had indeed met his end, the plot synopsis for season 4 has since confirmed his death. A brief 15-second teaser trailer from AMC on Twitter gave us the first glimpse into what the upcoming season has in store for us, and according to creator Vince Gilligan, fans can expect a rollercoaster. "Season four is so good. It gets darker, it gets richer," he said. "It's still got funny in it, but on the Venn diagram of 'Breaking Bad' and 'Better Call Saul', the overlap in the center is getting bigger and bigger."

With season 4 set to air this coming August 6, here are our predictions:

#5 Gus Fring takes on a larger role

A pretty safe prediction, to say the least. Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) rose to prominence in season 3 of BCS, and the audience got the first glimpses of his rivalry with Hector Salamanca and their battle for territory. The ending of the previous season saw Nacho (Michael Mando) poison Hector's medication in a bid to ensure his father doesn't get involved in the drug smuggling business.

Nacho takes over as an interim head of the cartel and is put in charge of the day-to-day matters but Salamanca's absence opens up new avenues for Fring to take over previously unavailable routes. The 'Los Pollos Hermanos' supremo figures out that Nacho is responsible and uses it to leverage it to his advantage. Leonel and Marco Salamanca (Daniel Moncada and Luis Moncada), the twin nephews of Salamanca — 'Breaking Bad' fans will surely remember their bloody rampages — are called in to investigate from the cartel's side and similarly close in on Nacho. The altercation will provide Fring with the perfect opportunity to consolidate his position as the Albuquerque's top drug lord.

#4 An overlap with 'Breaking Bad' and a brief run-in with Gale

When Walter is propositioned to be a cook for Gus Fring, he is offered a state-of-the-art production facility, and a well-meaning, brilliant lab assistant in Gale (David Costabile), who fans are unlikely to ever forget. Because Gale learns how to cook the special blue batches of crystal meth himself, his very existence becomes a threat to Walt, who realizes Gus can now off both him and Jesse at any given opportunity. Thus ensues one of the most heartbreaking scenes from the entire series, where Jesse, fighting every moral urge to run away, shoots and kills a perplexed Gale. 

We expect season 4 of 'Better Call Saul' to introduce Gale in some capacity, especially with some of the setups already made in previous seasons. In the opening to 'Box Cutter' in season 4 of 'Breaking Bad,' we see Gale putting the superlab together and carefully inspecting a sample of blue meth, so it's likely that we see the beginnings of the superlab in the upcoming season. There was also the scene of Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (Laura Fraser) and Gus buy the laundromat that goes on to play a substantial role in 'Breaking Bad,' which is arguably the perfect set up for at least one substantial Gale moment.

#3 Jimmy McGill to complete his transformation into Saul Goodman

Besides Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), and possibly Gus Fring, audiences will almost unanimously agree that one of their favorite characters from 'Breaking Bad' was Odenkirk's Saul Goodman. The opportunistic, bottom-feeding criminal lawyer's antics, theatrics, and all-round cockroach-like survival abilities endeared him to audiences and made him a fan-favorite. So, if you were anything like me, you expected to dive into BCS expecting to meet that particular version of the character, but were a tad disappointed when you ran into the meek, diffident, people-pleasing version of him that was Jimmy McGill.

But as the seasons proceeded we saw glimpses of the conniving, quick-witted Goodman sneaking a peek. Jimmy had always shown a propensity for getting things done his way, irrespective of whether it broke the letter of the law or not, and if you're one of those who loved him for it, season 4 will be a treat. 

A description for the season read, "Chuck’s death catalyzes Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman. In the wake of his loss, Jimmy takes steps into the criminal world that will put his future as a lawyer — and his relationship with Kim — in jeopardy. Chuck’s death deeply affects former colleagues Howard (Patrick Fabian) and Kim as well, putting the two of them once again on opposite sides of a battle sparked by the Brothers McGill." 

#2 Kim and Jimmy separate for good

Kim injury because of her lack of sleep due to covering for Jimmy has already influenced her feelings for him in some capacity, and it's likely that Chuck's death will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The guilt at having taken down 'an ill man' will begin overwhelming her thoughts. It's possible that Jimmy misses the funeral as well, with his complete lack of emotion and grief, combined with an excessive and lavish spending funded by a fat inheritance check from Chuck (considering he remains the only next of kin), adding further disillusionment.

The audience will probably see the pair drift further and further apart, with the new Jimmy (or should we say Saul) disgusting Kim to the point that she no longer can stand the sight of him. Heartbroken, Jimmy decides it's high-time he disregarded all the emotions and morality and goes his own way. Swimming in money and with his ban from practicing law coming to an end, the 'Better Call Saul' law services is finally born.

#1 The introduction of an important new character, 'Lalo'

As far as characters in the show are concerned, both Gilligan and Peter Gould have been on point. Each gets their time in the sun, are given time to develop a story, and in general, evoke emotions — whether positive or negative — from the audience, indicating they aren't shallow and one-dimensional. Besides the likes of Jimmy, Kim, Mike, Chuck, and Howard, Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz), Stacey Ehrmantraut (Kerry Condon), and Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) are involved in significant plots of their own.

So, when Gilligan revealed that there would be a significant addition to the cast, we couldn't help but be excited. The creator had said that fans would meet 'a very important character from the Breaking Bad era' and executive producer Melissa Bernstein confirmed that he was referring to 'Lalo,' who audiences have already come across in the show's predecessor. Lalo was mentioned in the first scene with Saul Goodman in a season 2 episode that was coincidentally titled 'Better Call Saul,' though we never see him on screen. 

Will Lalo play a role in Jimmy's transformation into Saul Goodman? Or will he be involved in Gus Fring's side of the story? At this point in time, we can only speculate.